The Importance of the DD 214 Release from Military Service Document
Serving in the United States Armed Forces is a rewarding way of starting adult life for many, and the basis of a career for quite a few more. Whether putting in a single term of service or by spending a decade or more enrolled in the military, every person who signs up and successfully lives up to their particular commitment becomes entitled to a variety of benefits upon leaving. Coupled with the fact that many private and public sector employers seek to provide jobs to newly minted veterans, this means that being able to prove a record of service and satisfactory separation is a common need among those who have recently left the military.
There is one universally recognized way of doing so, in the form of a certificate known as "DD 214." Although it has evolved over the years, the basic outlines of this official document have remained the same for decades, with its fundamental purpose of verifying that a particular individual was released from a military branch on good terms remaining unchanged.
Every member of the armed forces does receive an original DD 214 upon departing for good from the military in the good graces of the service branch in question. In fact, the processing that all service members go through on their way out includes a quick briefing as to the importance of this document and the ways that it can be used in civilian life.
Accidents and oversights do happen, of course, so it is relatively common for veterans to find themselves without the form just when they need it most. The question of "how do I get a copy of my dd214" is one of the most commonly seen at online support forums for veterans and other places where former service members seek help.
Fortunately, it is also easily answered, with a variety of convenient means for acquiring a copy of the document now being available. In fact, veterans can request military records entirely online today at sites like that maintained by the National Archives, with only a signature needing to be sent in by mail to verify that the request is authentic and authorized.